Sunday, December 6, 2015

Galleon San Jose: Sunken 18th century Spanish ship found with $3 billion of treasure

The San Jose was sunk in June 1708 off Colombia's Caribbean coast.

Colombia has announced it has found the shipwreck of a storied Spanish galleon laden with gold, silver and precious stones, three centuries after it was sunk by the British in the Caribbean.

President Juan Manuel Santos declared that "this is the most valuable treasure that has been found in the history of humanity", speaking from the northern port city of Cartagena, close to where experts made the hugely valuable find.

Treasure hunters had searched for the ship for decades, described by some as the holy grail of shipwrecks.

The loot is estimated to be worth around $3 billion, its value having dropped significantly due to the falling price of silver, according to US-based company Sea Search Armada (SSA).

Experts confirmed that they had located the San Jose, which was lying on its side, when identifying it by its unique bronze cannons with engraved dolphins.

"The amount and type of the material leave no doubt of the identity" of the shipwreck, said Ernesto Montenegro, head of the Colombian Institute of Anthropology and History.

The discovery "is an unprecedented event for the country," Cartagena mayor Dionisio Velez said.

On Twitter the issue was trending under #GaleonSanJose, as users debated whether to return the loot to Spain and estimates about its current value. - ABC

The remains of the Spanish galleon San Jose, which sunk off Colombia's Caribbean coast in 1708.

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Susong Dalaga Hill from Bagtasan isthmus

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